Whats the best ho scale DC controller?

 
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
As is often the case, the OP started this discussion and has not been seen since. Why bother?

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  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
As is often the case, the OP started this discussion and has not been seen since. Why bother?
TheBlacksmith

Hmmm, I smell a physh.
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
Hmmm, I smell a physh.
Roachie

Salmon, Tuna or perhaps Barramundi???
Or maybe you DCC psychos scared him off??  LOL  Smile

Wayne

PS:- That's a joke Joyce.
  Teditor Deputy Commissioner

Location: Toowoomba
Maybe when an actual DC answer arrived, he got the information he needed.
  thrillhouse Beginner

Wow thanks so much for all your opinions, I read all the comments and you all make valid points.

Although the question was between two dc controllers, I'm interested in dcc after reading all these comments. But this just raises more questions than answers. I got back into the hobby about 18 months ago starting with a cheap powerline set, and have since built a collection of 8 austrains/auscision 'dcc ready' locomotives, but have kept using the powerline controller.

So going dcc before I buy to many more locos maybe the easier/cheaper option. I wanted to get a new controller for a small workshop/shunt yard layout I'm currently planning, which I wanted to have electric points, and a couple of signals. Going dcc before wiring of said points and signals would I'm guessing be easier? Although I have not been in the hobby long, I'm quite familiar with automotive wiring/soldering and would not be worried about having make a few changes where needed.

Even more undecided then when I wrote the post, but much more well informed haha

thanks everyone
  3CM Station Master

Thrillhouse, I have been looking at the Gaugemaster range. Their appearance suits the period of my layout : http://www.gaugemaster.com/panels.html

Why do I dare even consider a DC controller in the age of counting machines, the interweb and the flying cars? Because that's what I want on my layout. P.S. I also have a rotary home phone and it works perfectly. I like old, restored technology.

I run mixed HO and OO scale on the same consist! There, that just about covers everyone...
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I'm interested in dcc after reading all these comments.
thrillhouse

Job done then.

But this just raises more questions than answers.
thrillhouse

Fire away!

Going dcc before wiring of said points and signals would I'm guessing be easier?
thrillhouse

'Technically' to me there is little difference to the wiring for the two systems. That is, I'd wire them nearly the exact same way. That said, DCC can be wired more easily than DC if desired. If you are planning on 'having DCC' on a 'new layout' then without question I would just go DCC from day one, and not entertain the idea of switching between the two 'later'.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
For DC use then if you can get one a good old Hammant and Morgan unit not the newer Hornby version's of them though! This H&M units are pretty indestructible and I have some going back years and they still work flawlessly. Sure you might not get ultra fine control of locomotives but you can always add a transistor controller to the DC output later if you want this finer control.

How ever any good brand of DC control unit would do the job, but stay away from those cheap Chinese made one's they provide in train sets etc. Don't ditch them they can run streetlights etc. These ones are not very powerful usually about a third of an amp or there abouts. Go for something with one amp or more output.

Orient Express here in Adelaide was selling at one time 5 amp DC controllers with a dial for speed ,I have never had one but the one I saw looked nice and compact etc! One of that capacity would allow you virtually unlimited locos on the move without overloading the transformer at all.

I am just answering the original question here not going off on another tangent about DCC!
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Anything which isn't called Power Mite. Laughing

The old Power Mite controllers which came with Lima, Life-Like and Hornby train sets (and the equally vintage Bachmann controllers) have dirty DC output and not much speed control (the voltage increases in steps rather than smoothly like a variac/rheostat). It has 4 diodes as a rudimentary bridge rectifier (AC-DC conversion) and no filter capacitors. You can hear the AC ripple hum when you run a heavily loaded motor or deliberately stall a loco. Output: 12V DC 0.36A.

Bachmann 6607A controller: 17V DC 0.6A; 17V presumably to give the locos a bit more of a push in a toy-like fashion, or to help when double-heading locos. I rate this the better of the two however, since it could also make locos crawl slower as well (in reverse only!), and 600mA gives a bit more kick and won't heat up as fast when running multiple units. Still, both train set controllers are about as crude as you can get. The Bachmann controller I have also has 20V AC 0.5A for accessories; the three Power Mites I have are DC-only, although the cases are labelled for AC/accessories as well.
  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
Wow thanks so much for all your opinions, I read all the comments and you all make valid points.

Although the question was between two dc controllers, I'm interested in dcc after reading all these comments. But this just raises more questions than answers. I got back into the hobby about 18 months ago starting with a cheap powerline set, and have since built a collection of 8 austrains/auscision 'dcc ready' locomotives, but have kept using the powerline controller.

So going dcc before I buy to many more locos maybe the easier/cheaper option. I wanted to get a new controller for a small workshop/shunt yard layout I'm currently planning, which I wanted to have electric points, and a couple of signals. Going dcc before wiring of said points and signals would I'm guessing be easier? Although I have not been in the hobby long, I'm quite familiar with automotive wiring/soldering and would not be worried about having make a few changes where needed.

Even more undecided then when I wrote the post, but much more well informed haha

thanks everyone
thrillhouse

Gee I'm glad no "DCC zealots" suggested anything silly, like maybe considering DCC from the start Smile

Ask all the questions that come to mind, you will get lots of different answers but you just need to sort the chaff from the wheat.

As Aaron said contrary to common misconception there is no real difference in wiring for DC/DCC. It is just like live and dead frogs on points, some people make out that it is rocket science but there is very little in it when wired properly but a big difference in performance.

Tony
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
IF interest in DCC then these two threads may help:

All you need to know about DCC -for beginners
http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11350820.htm


All you need to know about DCC -discussion - can reply to this one if needed, regardless of the last time it was posted in.

http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1272033.htm#1272033


Or ask  in this thread.



Personally DC is made out to be easier and in some aspects it can be. as others have said wiring can be as easy and as complex as one wishes.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Oh and be careful if you go the DCC way as some loco's may have to be hard wired in to get them converted not all are easy to simply pull out the blanking plug and plug in your chosen decoder. I say this as Austrain's and possibly others as well might not use standard wiring colours if they use wiring colours at all on loco's. Also some Austrains NR's have been wired up wrong at the factory and installing a DCC decoder and assuming the wiring is right could end with you frying a decoder in a model. Better to have this pointed out than lose a few decoders during install. Not trying to alarm you or put you off DCC just advising what others have found out the hard way!
  Bill Robinson Station Staff

Location: Manangatang
Right Miltrain.....................Yeah...............no way are you guys zealots, I was so very wrong.......


By the way, why always the "Oh buts it's better because it's newer" line? Since when is that a valid argument guys. I mean, most of you like steam locos and early generation diesels right?

"Personally DC is made out to be easier and in some aspects it can be. as others have said wiring can be as easy and as complex as one wishes."

Rubbish:
DC - Connect two wires to track, put loco on track, turn on
DCC - Want to check how many questions come up on this and just about every other forum?

Guys, I don't care what you use, but be honest about it please and don't lead this guy astray. It might be a brilliant system but it is not easy and definitely not as easy as DC (see above). Maybe for those of us more electrically minded who might take for granted how challenging anything but the simplest is for the rest of us. Already on this thread there's the "Oh, but just one caveat.....", etc. emerging.

Ps. DTHead I'm not sure whether you're commenting as an Admin Sorry if I have answered you as the wrong one of whatever it was/whichever you were.

Anyway, enjoy! Bill
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Right Miltrain.....................Yeah...............no way are you guys zealots, I was so very wrong.......


By the way, why always the "Oh buts it's better because it's newer" line? Since when is that a valid argument guys. I mean, most of you like steam locos and early generation diesels right?

"Personally DC is made out to be easier and in some aspects it can be. as others have said wiring can be as easy and as complex as one wishes."

Rubbish:
DC - Connect two wires to track, put loco on track, turn on
DCC - Want to check how many questions come up on this and just about every other forum?

Guys, I don't care what you use, but be honest about it please and don't lead this guy astray. It might be a brilliant system but it is not easy and definitely not as easy as DC (see above). Maybe for those of us more electrically minded who might take for granted how challenging anything but the simplest is for the rest of us. Already on this thread there's the "Oh, but just one caveat.....", etc. emerging.

Ps. DTHead I'm not sure whether you're commenting as an Admin Sorry if I have answered you as the wrong one of whatever it was/whichever you were.

Anyway, enjoy! Bill
"Bill Robinson"
Blatant misconceptions again. If you can wire a layout (NB. no one around here regards a single loop of track as a layout) with only two wires for DC then go and write a book. Then, DCC is capable of using just the two wires to the track for this 'layout' too.

The fact is, the SIMPLEST 'layout' featuring at least a siding and the ability to run more than one train requires approximately the same wiring for DC and DCC.

In it's purest form, DCC uses LESS wiring than the equivalent DC layout, running more than one train. As I posted, I use more wires than strictly necessary (but why compromise on features and reliability) to wire a DCC layout and net result is around the same amount of wires, but DC would never feature less wires on a 'properly' wired, 'proper' layout.

I don't recall anyone posting that 'DCC was better because it was newer' all of us who know both would happily let the feature list of both systems compete with DCC winning out without too much effort. I trust you will take great delight in driving your horse and cart to work and lighting your house at night with kerosene lamps. I mean kero lamps must be better, they don't go out when some hoon prangs his Model A Ford into an electricity pole.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT

By the way, why always the "Oh buts it's better because it's newer" line? Since when is that a valid argument guys. I mean, most of you like steam locos and early generation diesels right?

"Personally DC is made out to be easier and in some aspects it can be. as others have said wiring can be as easy and as complex as one wishes."

Rubbish:
DC - Connect two wires to track, put loco on track, turn on
DCC - Want to check how many questions come up on this and just about every other forum?

Guys, I don't care what you use, but be honest about it please and don't lead this guy astray. It might be a brilliant system but it is not easy and definitely not as easy as DC (see above). Maybe for those of us more electrically minded who might take for granted how challenging anything but the simplest is for the rest of us. Already on this thread there's the "Oh, but just one caveat.....", etc. emerging.

Bill Robinson


Oh my goodness. What absolute twaddle.

On my simple "shelf layout" I only have (effectively) two wires connected to the track. I can drive three locos independently in different directions simultaneously. I'd like to see you do that in DC with just two wires. I'm limited to three locos as my shelf layout only has three tracks. If I had more tracks, I could run more locos. This excludes multiple unit loco lash ups. Very Happy

My two wires are joined to the track by a series of colour coded "droppers" to each rail. The colour coding matching the two wires. How is that more complex than DC? I would say that is EXACTLY the same as DC. As Aaron pointed out, on a layout more complex than a circle of track for reliability you would use multiple droppers.

You ask us to be honest with the original OP. How about you being the same!

Dan
  Bill Robinson Station Staff

Location: Manangatang
Ummmm so, Dan and Aaron old chaps what about the ermmm pulling apart a new loco and fitting a decoder, then testing that decoder, then programming your controller to talk to it, then, then, then.....

With DC, you take the loco out of the box, put it on the track, turn the knob/slider and away you go.

Setting DCC is harder chaps. Do a search on "I have problems with DCC" and see how much turns up. Maybe also search all the threads on how much trouble people had pulling apart the loco and getting it all back together - you made fun of the poster earlier on this but again I say you are making a big assumption that everyone finds this stuff easy. Part of my beef here is that forums have been choc a block with people trying to connect your basic system for the last few years. It makes for very boring reading!

Again, no question on functionality if you like hoots and kooky light thingies and running 3 locos on the same line in different directions (no idea why you want to but it's great to know DCC can do it...), but there is more to it.

Anyway, enjoy zealotting! Bill
  Bill Robinson Station Staff

Location: Manangatang
Ps. I know I will never convince you, nor intend to, and you should know you won't do likewise. We could rabbit on forever to the enjoyment of all.

I posted because I didn't understand why DCC people had ambushed a thread that had nothing to do with them, and not just that but with some ferocity and indeed rudeness to the questioner. Regardless of the outcome I have seen nothing in what has transpired to change my view of a strange zealotry that seems to imbue some DCC peoples.  

When did you last see DC people ambush a DCC discussion?...................Yes, I didn't think so.

For me, this is my last post on this matter.

Thanks for the laughs, Bill.
  Kevin Martin Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Ps. I know I will never convince you, nor intend to, and you should know you won't do likewise. We could rabbit on forever to the enjoyment of all.

I posted because I didn't understand why DCC people had ambushed a thread that had nothing to do with them, and not just that but with some ferocity and indeed rudeness to the questioner. Regardless of the outcome I have seen nothing in what has transpired to change my view of a strange zealotry that seems to imbue some DCC peoples.

When did you last see DC people ambush a DCC discussion?...................Yes, I didn't think so.

For me, this is my last post on this matter.

Thanks for the laughs, Bill.
Bill Robinson

Only one person raised the term 'Zealots', now who would that be then? Is that rude to call people by such terms? I think it is, nor do I see it as a laugh.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
Ummmm so, Dan and Aaron old chaps what about the ermmm pulling apart a new loco and fitting a decoder, then testing that decoder, then programming your controller to talk to it, then, then, then.....

With DC, you take the loco out of the box, put it on the track, turn the knob/slider and away you go.

Setting DCC is harder chaps. Do a search on "I have problems with DCC" and see how much turns up. Maybe also search all the threads on how much trouble people had pulling apart the loco and getting it all back together - you made fun of the poster earlier on this but again I say you are making a big assumption that everyone finds this stuff easy. Part of my beef here is that forums have been choc a block with people trying to connect your basic system for the last few years. It makes for very boring reading!

Again, no question on functionality if you like hoots and kooky light thingies and running 3 locos on the same line in different directions (no idea why you want to but it's great to know DCC can do it...), but there is more to it.

Anyway, enjoy zealotting! Bill
Bill Robinson

Well Bill,

Once again complete twaddle.

That said, I'm glad that I have at least provided you with a laugh.

You on the other hand have offended me by suggesting that I have made fun of the OP in an earlier post (My bold highlight above). Really? That to me is quite offensive.

You say that your previous post would be your last... I hope not because I expect an apology for the suggestion that I have denigrated the original poster.

Over to you.

Dan
  Bill Robinson Station Staff

Location: Manangatang
SA-Trains,

I have tried to repost your mail just now so I can quote it for direct attribution of my apology, however with no success.

By "you" I did not mean to infer any comment you had made specifically, but rather the earlier group of comments.You have my apology for any offense taken over my comment, in any case.

Bill
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Good point to lock and close off the thread.

If you want to discuss DCC over DC  , or DC VS DCC  , create a thread on that topic.

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